Mike Vrabel’s Patriots reunion during Titans bye week among reasons for firing: report

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Mike Vrabel’s surprise firing by the Tennessee Titans has many questioning what went into the decision by owner Amy Adams Strunk. 

One factor was apparently Vrabel’s visit to Foxborough during the Titans’ bye week for the New England Patriots-Buffalo Bills game, which didn’t sit well with Strunk. 

It “raised some eyebrows” within the organization, according to The Athletic.

Vrabel was on hand at Gillette Stadium because the Patriots were inducting him into their Hall of Fame. Vrabel, who won three Super Bowls with the Patriots as a linebacker over eight seasons with the team, praised the organization during his speech at halftime. 

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Tennessee Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk before a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Nissan Stadium Dec. 24, 2023, in Nashville. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

“I don’t want you to take this organization for granted,” Vrabel said during his halftime speech. “I’ve been a lot of places. This is a special place with great leadership, great fans, great direction and great coaching. Enjoy it. It’s not like this everywhere.”

Reporters asked Vrabel if his comment that “it’s not like this everywhere” was directed at the Titans. 

“(The Patriots) have won six Super Bowls in 20 years. That’s what I was alluding to,” he responded. “I don’t know what to tell you. It’s just a lot of success.”

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Strunk reportedly “let it fester” after never approaching Vrabel about the Patriots’ reunion. 

Now, there’s a good chance Vrabel is in the running to take over as Patriots head coach. Bill Belichick’s 24-year reign with the organization came to an end Thursday as he mutually parted ways with the team.

NFL Network previously reported that Strunk’s decision to move on from Vrabel had something to do with the Patriots’ reunion, but she wasn’t “dispelling rumors in house that he was going to be the Patriots coach.”

Mike Vrabel vs Dolphins

Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium Dec. 11, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Those rumors have been swirling around the Titans and Patriots since the latter began to struggle, putting Belichick’s future into question.

The Athletic added that “poor communication, misinterpreted statements and misunderstandings” led to Vrabel’s firing. 

“High-level Titans sources told The Athletic in November that the team’s long-term plan was to retain Vrabel as coach,” the publication reported.

Vrabel is now one of the top coaching candidates for any number of job openings, though many are calling him the frontrunner to become Belichick’s successor in New England. 

Amy Adams Strunk speaks with Mike Vrabel

Head coach Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans meets with owner Amy Adams Strunk before a game against the Oakland Raiders at RingCentral Coliseum Dec. 8, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

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Vrabel went 54-45 during the regular season in six years as Titans head coach, and he has two wins in five playoff games. 

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